Animals and Fables -or- The Natural History of Dreams
The Human Zoo -or- Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals
Animals and animal like creatures can be found in mythology, legends, folktales and fables of all humans who have ever lived on the planet. Animals can also be found in our dreams, which features what Desmond Morrris called "The Human Zoo". As a student I once read somewhere about the comparison of fables and anthropomorphized types of animals, relating them to a person's personality. Said differently, we can relate these animal personifications to our dreams and the growth of personality.
Just ask a person about their favourite three animals to start the conversation about fables and dreams. I'll use my own to illustrate; dolphin, horse and the third little pig (from one of my favorite fables "Three Little Pigs". The first animal personifies the way you see yourself, the second personification type is the person you want to be, and the third, the way others personify and see you. There is no science here, although some tongue in cheek may be involved.
Patricia Garfield " Your Child's Dreams", points out that dream research studies of children 3-5 years old shows that children dream a great deal more about animals than adults do. The meaning of animals in dreams is most likely overdetermined. Garfield reviews the work of Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales", who finds two types of animals in fairy tales, the benevolent and the malevolent. For Bettelheim animals represent the Freudian "id". From an archetypal perspective, it could be argued that the animal represents Darwin's "Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals".
The dream interpretation "The Dreams of the Blushing Student" uses the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm to begin to build a natural history model of dreams and dreaming. Other dream interpretations that build on the Darwinian paradigm are;
- An Evolutionary Theory of Dreaming
- Nature's Greatest Gift
- The Origins and History of Consciousness
- The Great Mother and Creation Mythologies
- The Terrible Mother Nature Archetype
- Field Work in the Enchanted Forest
- Folklore and the Human Zoo
- Snake in the Grass -or- English Cultural Idioms
- Flying Fish
- Wise Old Owl
- Running with the Wolves